Then water the bed, and leave the area alone while the seeds sprout and the seedlings begin to grow. What’s more, a single chickweed plant can produce an impressive 800 seeds in a single season -- but that’s not the only way it spreads. It is rich in nutrients and can be eaten raw or cooked like spinach, and the plant definitely well worth cultivating. One of the many advantages of Chickweed is its ability to grow nearly year round only dying back during extreme adverse conditions such as prolonged heat and drought or sub free… But some people also love growing chickweed in their home garden, because the plant is edible. Although chickweed is not overly picky about its soil, it does best in soil containing organic material. Its stem is green or reddish, and never woody, as it is an annual. Perhaps you are like many homeowners who spend enormous amounts of time trying to kill patches of chickweed in your garden. It will thrive in springtime, die back during the hotter months, then reappear when things cool down. Chickweed hugs the soil, or clambers over rocks or neighboring plants. Scatter about three chickweed seeds per every 1 inch in the planting troughs. How to Bury Grass Clippings for Heavy Feeders, Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association: Chickweed -- Delicious and Nutritious, Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: The Art of Growing Chickweed, Traders Creek: Edible Plants -- Wild Survival Guide: Chickweed Plant Description and Location Guide. Tips on Growing Chickweed It is best to start growing chickweed during early spring when the ground has thawed. So, thin the seedlings by removing some of them when they reach about 3 inches tall. Chickweed is sometime also called common chickweed for distinguishing it from other plants that is also called chickweed. The leaves fold up of a night time, enfolding and protecting the tender buds of new shoots. Preferred Habitat. It will often grow in large patches, which is part of why it is considered a weed. If you want to make multiple planting troughs, space them 5 inches apart. Chickweed grows in many areas in a wide variety of habitats and soil textures. If you’re working in a garden, mowing isn’t an option. Plants produce large quantities of quickly germinating seed throughout the year and can easily smother beds and borders if not promptly controlled. Chickweed thrives on its own. This weed can even sprout new roots from the nodes on its stem and take over your lawn that way. First of all collect or purchase seeds for growing chickweed in your home garden. Chickweed is an annual that is loaded with nutrients and can be eaten raw or cooked like spinach. It inhabits agricultural land and other disturbed sites. Rake the planting area in early spring. A large, open area is best because chickweed spreads outward. Chickweed thrives under our mild winter temperatures. Extrapolation of the 2007 Alberta Weed Survey results indicates there could be up to 3.1 million acres in Alberta alone where one or more weeds are resistant to one or more products. Thinning: Chickweed plants don’t grow well if they are overcrowded. It grows best in cool, humid conditions and is a serious problem in overwintered vegetable and flower bulb crops. Herbalists have used it for a range of medical conditions, such as acne and skin irritations. She is a Master Gardener, Certified Metabolic Typing Advisor and a Certified Health Coach with vast experience working with organic gardening and nutrition. Stellaria media is a low growing annual measuring about 3 to 12 inches (7-30 cm) tall, forming large mats of greens that can easily take over the landscape when ideal conditions make it possible. You can start harvesting chickweed by snipping the top several inches of stems, leaves and flowers. Many people plant it in places that won’t support anything else. Common Mouse Ear Chickweed will spread very quickly in soil that is chalky and dry. The chickweed seeds generally germinate faster, and you can expect the seeds to sprout within a week. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Chickweed is a fast-growing plant that has been utilized as a folk remedy for many conditions, including arthritis pains, skin conditions, such as rashes and eczema, asthma, constipation, and kidney related issues. Chickweed is low growing, with matted and trailing green stems from six to fifteen inches in length. Chickweed is actually an annual plant and it can be grown throughout the year. Why would anyone intentionally grow weeds? Fertilizing: Chickweed plants don’t require additional fertilization. A carrier oil infused with chopped chickweed reportedly does wonders for eczema and other dry, irritated skin conditions. Mulching: Mulching helps to retain moisture into the soil and also help to prevent most of the weeds from your garden. Recipe: Chickweed Salad Yards, turf, ga… It is actually native to Europe, but also naturalized in many part of North America and some other parts of the world. Patterson has been writing and presenting on health and gardening topics for 10 years. You should keep the soil moist constantly, but not saturated. Common chickweed can be very variable in size, habit and general appearance. Water established chickweed during periods of drought, keeping the soil moist but not saturated. Susan Patterson is a health and gardening advocate. The answers might surprise you as we look at the wild and wonderful world of weeds. Common chickweed is found throughout most of California, except in the Mojave Desert, up to 4300 feet (about 1300 m) and is especially common in lawns and landscaped areas. Fine hairs run along one side of the stems/branches that rotate position by 90° at each node To distinguish chickweed from other plants, the stem may be pulled so that it breaks around the outside. Herbicide resistance is a growing problem. Many species of wildlife feed on its leaves and seeds. The plant grows well in slightly moist soil and light shade, such as under bushes, trees or other tall plants. However, you can still … This plant occurs in many countries. It is an annual plant that readily self sows, making it come back year after year. Watering: Regular watering will ensure better growth of the plants. I was happy to discover this large chickweed patch in … So the chickweed is gaining the attention of food lovers and health enthusiasts as a nutritional and tasty edible plant. Common Chickweed, on the other hand, is an annual weed and the plant dies at the end of the season. It is also useful as a food for canaries. Best Time for Growing Chickweed Chickweed is actually an annual plant and it can be grown throughout the year. This makes it easier to control. Good luck! This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. If you are unable to find the chickweed seeds, then you can also consider planting the transplants. IDENTIFICATION AND LIFE CYCLE Common chickweed is a prostrate or erect, somewhat succulent annual that often forms a dense mat. Miniature, white, five-petaled flowers bloom throughout the growing season. Chickweed is a low-growing annual, which bears smooth paired leaves (botanically, we call this ‘opposite leaves’) with no teeth. By the way, you can also try to collect some transplants. Keep at least 5 inches space between 2 plants for better growth. Although it prefers a rich soil, and so can be a good indicator of soil fertility, it is adaptable to a range of growing conditions. It is often seen in woodland areas prone to flooding or standing water, thickets, cropland and fallow fields, lawns and gardens, nursery plots, areas adjacent to buildings, and miscellaneous waste areas. I became acquainted with chickweed in the summer of 2010. They are actually free from these problems. Native “star” chickweed pops up in the forest, as it appreciates more dense shade. It can be eaten raw or cooked as a vegetable and is often added to salads. Young chickweed plant spreading through dormant St. Augustine lawn. When I lived in the Seattle area, I often found it growing on organic farms and the farmers were more than happy for me to weed harvest for them. But most of the people don’t know it’s health benefits, rather they only know it as a weed and an invasive plant. The chickweed is an annual plant that is very easy to grow. And cover the seeds with about 1/4 inches of soil after sowing. Remove all sticks, stones and other debris that may interfere with the chickweed. Chickweed plants are less prone to pests and diseases. For preparing the soil, just till the soil and add some organic materials such as well rotted aged manure or home-made compost. Identification and Growth Habits Chickweed displays small, pointy, egg-shaped leaves and a line of tiny hairs running along the length of the stems. Grass-Leaved Chickweed, Stellaria graminea, is much more common in my yard than Stellaria media. Growing chickweed is very easy, and it’s grow almost everywhere. You can leave it undisturbed right after planting the seeds until thinning is needed. The plant grows well in slightly moist soil and light shade, such as under bushes, trees or other tall plants. So here goes, the hunt for chickweed begins>>> It grows naturally and considered as an unwanted plant in some areas. While chickweed prefers moisture-rich soils, it will grow in nearly any type of soil and under most conditions. The plants will grow just fine if you till the soil and add some organic materials into it. It can harbor several viruses and other pests that affect a variety of vegetable crops. Chickweed is a little herbaceous plant that grows all over South Eastern Australia with records showing it growing all the way up into the tropics, see image below for the spread. It’s also very common in lawns. Stellaria longifolia (Long-leaf Starwort) is another chickweed cousin. Water the troughs' soil thoroughly, and wait for the water to drain. The seeds reseed themselves every year with the seedlings emerging in early spring. Water the established plants during drought periods. I’ve found chickweed to be soothing to the spirit also, acting not like an anti-depressant but more as something that reduces sorrow and agitation to manageable levels. After a period of drought, you will see it pop back to life with the first rain. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. Chickweed can be grown easily in a raised bed using the same method. Seeds produced in differing habitats and geographical locations exhibit markedly different dormancy patterns and germination requirements. Generally chickweed likes a nice combo of moisture and sun. In the wild, European chickweed tends to appear on forest edges. It thrives in cool and moist conditions and grows readily in disturbed soil. Chickweed is a common plant that comes up in late winter or early spring. Leave the planting area alone while the seeds sprout and seedlings begin to grow. It is full in nutrients, and as an herbal medicine the chickweed is known to help prevent and treat a number of ailments. It thrives in disturbed soils where people have left their mark and it’s for this reason that Doug Benoliel in the book Northwest Foragingcalls it the “People Plant”. Create narrow, 1/2-inch deep planting troughs using a hoe or trowel. Cover the seeds with 1/4 inch of soil, and spray a fine mist of water on top of the planting area. Chickweed seeks soil that has balanced conditions. Keep about 5 inches between the plants for the best results. Chickweed actually grow in all types of soil, even grow in poor soils. Her passions include sustainable living, organic foods and functional fitness. and most of North America, Chickweed is commonly seen practically anywhere there are people. Keep about 5 inches space between two plants while planting the transplants. You have to source the seeds of your own. Chickweed will grow in sunny spots as well as partial shade, but it needs a wide-open area with plenty of room to spread outward. It is a soothing, lubricating plant whose abundant use in salads or as tincture will ease inflammatory conditions like arthritis. Chickweed (Stellaria media) is gaining the attention of food lovers and health enthusiasts as a nutritional and tasty edible plant well worth cultivating. Incorporate a 2-inch layer of compost into the planting site's soil to a depth of 8 to 12 inches. Light shade and temporary flooding are tolerated. It is also a great addition to your kitchen. Typical growing conditions consist of moist to mesic conditions, and a fairly fertile loam or clay-loam soil. Chickweed is very popular among the poultry birds, that’s why such name. Thin the seedlings by removing some of them when they reach about 3 inches tall. As we have mentioned previously, you will need to take less care while growing chickweed plants. Till Your Garden Soil. Chickweed is a low growing herbaceous plant that, in the right conditions, forms a thick mat along the ground. However, here we are describing everything about growing chickweed from planting, caring to harvesting. It is tasty, easy to digest and can be good for your health. That means you’ll often find it growing prolifically around agricultural land from late winter through the spring and into the summer for most of the continent. Tincture of chickweed or chickweed tea can be used to treat bloating, bladder and liver problems, and upset stomach. Although chickweed may be erect, it is most often sprawling, creating a … Because it behaves like ground cover, some choose to grow it under bushes or taller plants, but chickweed seeds do need sunlight to find their way out of the soil. Even though we consider it a weed, chickweed produces very lovely and very prolific flowers. The leaves are generally as big as a pinky nail, but given enough nitrogen and moisture, they can grow much larger. It is one of the most common weeds founds in lawns but it also grows well in cultivated fields, pastures, waste areas and in some deciduous forests. They do not open in dull weather. It is a celebrated edible, outstanding medicine and easy to identify, once you know what to look for. Choose a location for your chickweed. Growing Fiddlehead Ferns: Organic Fiddleheads Farming in Home Garden, Growing Dandelions: Step-by-step Guide for Beginners, Growing Cabbage: Organic Cabbage Farming in Home Garden, Growing Crown Daisy: Organic Crown Daisy Farming, Growing Chicory: Organic Chicory Farming in Home Garden, Growing Chameleon Plants: How to Grow Chameleon Plants, Lobster Farming: Guide For Starting the Business …, Goat Farming: Complete Business Guide For Beginners, Duck Farming: Complete Business Guide For Beginners, Rose Farming: Commercial Rose Cultivation For Beginners, Dragon Fruit Farming: Pitaya Cultivation For Beginners, Cauliflower Farming: Commercial Business Guide For Making …, Pineapple Farming: Business Starting Plan For Beginners, Potato Farming: Commercial Business Plan For Beginners, Cactus Farming: Prickly Pear Cultivation For Beginners. Chickweed (Stellaria media) is also known by some other names such as winterweed, maruns, craches and chickenwort. Chickweed is not too popular, so we don’t know about the availability of the seeds. Chickweed loves cool, damp conditions, and prefers soft, rich, recently disturbed soil. Chickweed is a wonderful edible plant that can be used in tinctures, teas, or infused with oils. It can grow even if it’s completely under shade. Huge swaths of German chamomile were growing in my garden where it had reseeded from previous years. Plant Description. Learn how your comment data is processed. Don’t pull up the plants by the roots, because it would prevent the plant from coming back in the next season. The seeds germinates in autumn or late winter, and then form large mats of foliage. Chickens generally love eating the plants, especially the seeds. Chickweed likes to grow in moist conditions and like most “weeds” is very resilient. So, you can actually choose any side of your home garden for growing chickweed. Germination may occur year-round, depending on conditions, with distinct peaks in the UK in spring (March to May) and autumn (Roberts and Feast, 1970). The common chickweed, or stitchwort (Stellaria media), is native to Europe but is widely naturalized. In lawns, it rarely grows higher than 2 inches, but can be taller (4 to 6 inches) and less compact in gardens or under shaded conditions. But the seeds generally germinate well in autumn or late winter, and then forms large mats of foliage. Chickweed will happily grow in most soil types and conditions but each species has a preferred environment. Chickweed is used as a cooling herbal remedy, and generally grown as a vegetable crop and ground cover for both human consumption and poultry. It usually grows to 45 cm (18 inches) but becomes a low-growing and spreading annual weed in mowed lawns. Chickweed can be used in soups and green salads, and has a distinct fresh taste. All the parts of the chickweed plants including stems, leaves and flowers are edible. Then level the soil after tilling and adding organic materials. Common chickweed is primarily a winter annual broadleaf in California, but in foggy coastal areas, it can survive year-round. But the seeds generally germinate well in autumn or late winter, and then forms large mats of foliage. Common chickweed is a frequent weed of cereals, sugar beet and other arable crops. However, if the conditions are right, chickweed can grow anywhere, from compost heaps to cracks in the sidewalk, as long as the conditions are balanced enough for it to thrive. A large, open area is best because chickweed spreads outward. The centre of the stem will stretch if it is chickweed. Simple to grow and very forgiving, perhaps its time you cut chickweed a break. Here we are describing about the common caring steps for growing chickweed plants. It tolerates light shade and temporary flooding, and while it can be found to some extent in natural areas, it prefers areas that have been disturbed. After preparing the soil, sow the seeds at the rate of about 3 seeds per every 1 inch. These areas may include meadows, fields, disturbed areas, gardens, foothills and coastal locations. This is 40 per cent of the cropland in the province. A very common garden weed, chickweed grows, flowers and sets seed all year round. It prefers partial to full sun, moist to mesic conditions, and moderately fertile loam or clay loam soils. Although taking additional care will result good growth of the plants. Inflammation is at the heart of a wide range of severe conditions including heart disease, cancer, arthritis and diabetes and many more. Chickweed has very powerful, natural anti-inflammatory properties which give the plant a wide range of uses when it comes to diseases linked to inflammation. It does not like soil that is too acidic or too dry. 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